Friday, 22 March, 2019

How to Spot This Year's Spectacular Geminids Meteor Shower

Geminid Meteor Shower 2018 Google Doodle Marks The Sky Light Show Through Slideshow Best Time to See Meteor Shower The year's most spectacular meteor shower is this weekend
Doris Mccormick | 13 December, 2018, 20:47

Like other meteor showers, the Geminids happen when extra-terrestrial debris hits the Earth's outer atmosphere and heats up, ultimately disintegrating into fiery bursts of color, according to NASA.

What is Geminid Meteor Shower?

An annual phenomenon, the Geminid shower occurs every December. The 3200 Phaethon asteroid takes about 1.43 years to finish its orbit around the sun.

In a blog post, Google said, "If the weather is clear, 2018 should be the best year ever to watch the Gemenides-so named because they seem to originate from the constellation Gemini". The first recorded observation was from a riverboat on the Mississippi River in 1833, and it's got more intense each year since.

The Geminid meteor shower is the highlight of the meteor year and will peak tonight and tomorrow. The most dramatic sights will visible at the peak of the shower which will be between the last hours of December 13 through to dawn on December 14. Matthew Cappucci of the Washington Post recommends not looking directly at the Gemini constellation, which in this context is known as the shower's "radiant", because you'll see only quick flashes of light. (Astromony magazine thinks this will be local time in most time zones) The meteor shower is going to peak at 2 a.m.

What is the Geminid meteor shower?

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For a better view, get as far away from city lights as possible, face South, and keep in mind to dress warmly as you enjoy one of the greatest shows on - or above - earth, recommends Google.

"Even though the Geminids are rich in lovely green fireballs, the lights of New York, San Francisco, or Atlanta will blot even them out".

To experience the celestial show of meteors, you do not need to have a telescope or binoculars. No matter where you are, your eyes need 20 - 30 minutes to adjust to the dark.

It is considered as a naked eye event where one does not require any equipment or instruments for watching.

Viewers hoping to catch a glimpse of the Christmas comet and the meteor shower are being advised by the Met Office to go to an open place away from street lights. At this time of year, many northerly regions are quite cold, so be sure to pack warm clothes, blankets and hot drinks. They should burn like bright green fireballs.

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